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Great Debate MMO

51 comments

  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - July 25, 2012 7:39 p.m.

    F2P definitly works for some games, but I don't see it becoming the future of games.
  • mockraven - July 25, 2012 7:07 p.m.

    I know it was mentioned before by other commentors but I like the middle-ground like Guild Wars (and Guild Wars 2) has where you pay 1 flat fee then can buy the optional stuff that's more for fun, prestige, or lazy factor than pay-to-win factor. The original Guild Wars had mostly aesthetic stuff, but then it also had stuff like a skill-unlock pack you could buy if all you wanted to do was PvP and never play the rest of the game as well as a pet unlock pack if you can't be bothered to quick-travel and tame each pet type. It also had some mini-content addons at cheap prices that gave you extra content/story without giving you an "edge" over other players. I was a big fan of the costumes, especially since they were permanent and account-wide, so every year I bought them. I've been playing the Guild Wars 2 beta and the cash shop really felt like an expanded GW1 shop, and mostly aesthetic at that. There're some xp bonus things but you can get them through gameplay as quest rewards or rare drops, and the leveling pace (at least in the beta) was satisfying enough that I never felt like I was "grinding" so much as accidentally getting levels while being distracted by the latest dynamic event I stumbled into. I really think their "convenience" items are aimed at people who don't play for fun so much as for achieving-maximum-levels-as-fast-as-possible!!! -- a weird concept to me, but I know people like that. Anyway, I consider the Guild Wars franchise somewhere between P2P and F2P and a good balance between the two. I hope they keep it up because I'll definitely drop money in a game that supports "premium" aesthetic stuff as their primary F2P shop inventory. I'd really like to see this become the standard in F2P games, too, where the primary focus in cash shops is a combination of aesthetic stuff and convenience stuff like storage or extra char slots as opposed to the "buy for power" items.
  • tofu666 - July 26, 2012 4:49 a.m.

    I believe GW2 crosses that line and goes into P2W, like Cooper said, it seems like your paying to not be inconvenienced for those xp boosts in GW2.
  • mockraven - July 26, 2012 8:46 a.m.

    In the beta it didn't feel like that. Of course, the beta limited one's ability to really play through the whole game -- the main questline capped out at the level 20 quests, essentially. How it's executed in the final release is what will ultimately determine my opinion; however, as I had mentioned, I never had to sit there and "grind" or kill anything repeatedly in order to level neither was it necessary for me to repeat quests. The rate of progress was rather balanced with the number and reward of events that I came across. Also, there was no point in buying xp boosts for the PvPers as in WvW everyone was the same level. Perhaps your experience was different from mine, though.
  • profile0000 - July 25, 2012 4:53 p.m.

    Damn good debate you two. I found it quite an interesting read despite not having a single opinion in the matter. In fact, I didn't even realize there was a "debate" about F2P until I read the article.
  • amagasakiseb - July 25, 2012 4:43 p.m.

    The industry was monetised a long long time ago so whether it's through free-to-play models or the more conventional business models, gamers are still going to be royally shafted. I do like the fact that free-to-play games are "pick up and play" in the sense that you don't have to worry about initial outlay and you can just install the game and try it out. I do like some games such as Allods online but I never really played it a lot because, although it was supposedly free to play, I always felt like something was going to pop up any moment, offering to sell me a power up or a special item for real money. Some of my friends said that in the later levels it gets very hard to make any progress in the game without spending a single penny. So basically, while it is a good idea, it often feels like its "free to play... if you want to be stuck in the mid levels with shitty gear and no content". I suppose you could turn around and say "well you get what you pay for" but that would be missing the point.
  • laurenhiya21 - July 25, 2012 4:39 p.m.

    It is definitely possible to make the F2P model work, (I enjoy a few F2P games myself) but I'm pretty sure that it generally doesn't... Too many greedy people about :/ To be honest though, I like the P2P model even less I just don't really like the thought of having some games, randomly deciding "Let's play game #1!" but I can't because I have to pay for a month subscription even though I may only want to play a couple times during that month Maybe it would work better if I didn't get distracted easily and had more time on my hands... I dunno, but I guess it also doesn't help that I'm not too big into MMO's... (I'm not much of a social person :/)
  • laurenhiya21 - July 25, 2012 4:44 p.m.

    Oh and by P2P, I only mean subscription based. I don't mind regular games where you pay once and have it forever (or as long as the disk/cart/file lasts)
  • winner2 - July 25, 2012 4:22 p.m.

    I haven't seen many games that can pull off a good F2P experience. GW is the only one I can defend seeing as its the only one I've played that's fully f2p after buying. Runescape is good to an extent but you're getting next to nothing content wise compared to the subscription. I think the problem with most f2p games is that not everyone's playing the same game that way. When some people pay for more, they're playing at a different level with different content, thus it's not on the same playing field as the true f2p-er.
  • ObliqueZombie - July 25, 2012 4:03 p.m.

    I think P2P is the way to go--if you want all the content without spending ludicrous amounts of money. "F2P" is entirely deceiving. Really, it means "it's free--unless you want to advance in the game, acquire competent equipment, and overall succeed and have fun." And really, I'm talking about things like Nexon games, or Super Monday Night Combat, or that Warhammer MOBA. It REQUIRES the consumer to, in the end, pay more than a measly $15 a month. In fact, one of my friends spent--in the course of one month--$300 in Maplestory. For things he NEEDED to advance in the higher levels. Now, things like DOTA 2 and Guild Wars 2, and to an extent Team Fortress 2? THAT'S how you do F2P. All cosmetic items (aside from TF2, but those weapons are arguably better depending on the individual's play style), and all optional. Regardless of how much money you spend, you'll be getting the same gameplay experience as everyone else. But seriously, is everyone still complaining about a subscription? It's $15. A MONTH. Or, with things like Runescape, you pay half that, and get 2/3 of the game. Point is, no matter what model a company or game picks, it needs to be done well and give the fan his money's (or lack there of's) worth.
  • tofu666 - July 26, 2012 4:46 a.m.

    Sorry to say but Guild Wars 2 looks P2W with things such as xp boosts, and several other micro-transactions that do more than cosmetic effects. I thinks its weird that a game you need to pay to play also enacts a P2W system.
  • ObliqueZombie - July 26, 2012 10:56 p.m.

    But XP boosts mean nothing. Your level gets lowered depending on what area you're in, and the PvP boosts your level to 80 AND gives competent gear, automatically making the playing field even, minus a few skills one class may or may not have. Sure, you can pay to have an XP boost. That's not saying much in a game like Guild Wars 2.
  • mockraven - July 27, 2012 6:42 a.m.

    Honestly, I don't think tofu666 has played in the beta and if that's the case, his opinion is uninformed. I mentioned in my own comment about GW2 that the XP boost seems to be aimed at people who are less interested in playing the game and more interested in "omg get levels as fast as possible!" You'd have to skip a LOT of content to really "benefit" from XP boosts. I can't imagine wanting to skip content but I know some people who would buy into it for the imagined "prestige" of high leveled characters. Anyway, from my own experience in the beta, I agree with you in that the XP boosts don't really seem to serve a "pay to win" purpose. My ultimate opinion will be formed in the final release, but for now I'm pretty confident that ArenaNet's doing it right (again). Thinking about it, I'm pretty sure the game's more focused on the content than the leveling/gearing process. Like the first one, I noticed it still leans towards skill acquisition.
  • awesomesauce - July 26, 2012 4:14 p.m.

    15 bucks a month adds up man. I mean if i'm barely playing a game i don't feel like shoving cash in someone's pocket just cause it's mandatory to play it. I'd rather play DCU than WoW if i know im only going to play 5 times this month. Sure there's a lvl grind but i mean that's part of the game. If someone has an exp boost good 4 them it doesn't really ruin my gameplay experience.
  • yonderTheGreat - July 25, 2012 3:53 p.m.

    Here's something, when done stupidly, games die. When done properly, the F2P model is awesome. *Just like every other type of game in existence* There are numerous examples listed above. Great F2P games are superb. Crappy F2P games will continue to exist, just a simple, unavoidable fact. How bout talking about the merits of the F2P model *when done correctly*?
  • azureguy - July 25, 2012 3:28 p.m.

    Why is everyone hating Team Fortress 2? Believe it or not, but the hat craze is not all that bad. There's a trading market yes, but only if you want to venture into it, otherwise this will 100% not affect you at all. And the weapons are for the most part balanced too, are cheap and can actually be obtained for free in more than one way. The "much time equals money" formula is more true in this game than most other games that offer in-game pay-to-win items. Also, the game has an ok amount of custom game modes. It's an old game in a sense yes, but it has character, you can't deny that. Besides it's freakin' Valve, everything they touch is golden. And unlike Blizzard's Diablo III fiasko, that's actually still true.
  • lemur - July 25, 2012 3:36 p.m.

    I agree. The hat craze was in 2010 and some of 2011. Unless you go on a trade server (which you will know what you getting into) people don't even care about hats except for the occasion "nice hat". I personally like F2P games. Not only can I spend the money that I want, but I won't really regret buying the game. Another plus side is that people can't pirate it because it's free.
  • Andrew Groen - July 25, 2012 3:04 p.m.

    SO RIGHT. League of Legends, Tribes: Ascend, Super Monday Night Combat, Lord of the Rings Online, Team Fortress 2, and Heroes of Newerth aren't awesome games at all. AT ALL. No, sir. Not a bit. It absolutely sucks that I get to play whatever I want, whenever I want, at no charge. The people I hear who are against F2P seem to have just been scarred by the hypermonetized version of F2P of 2009. The F2P business of 2012 boasts incredible quality, and unintrusive stores. The bottomline is that it's a great model for online competitive games like TF2 and MMOs. No one is suggesting it take over the whole business and infiltrate Single-Player games. High priced AAA games push the medium forward, very true. But not nearly as much as an industry that is flourishes with multiple business models.
  • GR HollanderCooper - July 25, 2012 3:14 p.m.

    I've played all of those games, they're awesome. But don't act like they're the not the minority. Even the F2P system of 2011 and 2012 is full of issues. There are some great F2P games, sure, but there are also plenty released that are full of problems that can be blamed entirely on the F2P system it employs.
  • Andrew Groen - July 25, 2012 3:49 p.m.

    Go look at the shelves at GameStop sometime and tell me the games you'd be willing to pay full price for aren't the minority. When I look at those shelves I see *at best* 1% of games I'd be willing to pay $60 for. The problem with those games isn't that they are meritless. It's that they're not worth full price. Is that a flaw in the monetization of console games? Poor-quality games are a flaw in the $60 standard, but we don't call for the downfall of that business model because of it. Of course, there are terrible F2P games that try to abuse the system. Which of them are popular? I can't think of one. The F2P system relies on word-of-mouth. If anything, those F2P games are easily identifiable before the consumer pays out any money. With full price console games that's much more difficult.

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